Furman at Mercer
The Game: Furman at Mercer
Last Week: After going into the half down 14-13, the Fighting Football Paladins dominated the final two quarters of play in route to a 49-21 victory over Western Carolina. Furman amassed over 600 yards of total offense en route to the Senior Day triumph.
Were We Any Good This Year? We'll switch this question up since this is the last game of the season. If Furman wins today, they'll finish with a 4-4 conference record. That's the textbook definition of mediocre. When Furman started 0-4, I thought they were better than that record indicated but then we dropped to 0-6 and I wondered if that earlier assessment was true. The Paladins looked like a team floundering in the losses to Kennesaw State and Samford. Now they have won 3 of the last 4. Each of our conference losses came to the teams ranked in the Top 25. On one hand, all but one of those losses were by one score. We played them close. On the other hand, they were all losses. So was Furman good this year? We were a middle of the pack team that showed flashes of being good, but those were only enough to make you scratch your head and wonder why we weren't better. Still I'm happy they have (thus far) finished strong.
Opposing Team's Mascot: The Bears. There's a fun story with this one. When Mercer was playing Georgia back in 1892, the players were kind of burly looking: long hair, mustaches. So as a big Mercer player lumbered down the field, a fan remarked, "Whence cometh that bear?" I wish all mascots had stories that prominently involved archaic language. So once again, that inspires my hashtag.
Suggested Hashtag: #DefeatethThatBear
Corresponding Emoji (with letters) to Suggested Hashtag: 🚫🐻
-Elephant in the room question: Does the coaching staff stay or go? Let me first say that I never like someone losing their job. I hate it when fans cry "Fire (coach)!" with relish. And I think Bruce Fowler is a standup guy. But I feel that it probably is time for a change. Since 2013's conference title run, Furman has finished 3-9, 4-7, and, at best this year, 4-7. Will the school actually do that? That is mystery to me. I have no idea. It could depend on the outcome of this game. I feel like if the decision had already been made, then we'd already know. We'll see. It's unfortunate.
-It will be irony of ironies if former Furman and current Mercer head coach Bobby Lamb is the one who ultimately causes his successor to get the pink slip. All of this makes me sad. Let's move on.
-Final game for some great players: Reese Hannon, Trey Robinson, Andrej Suttles, Carl Rider, Duncan Fletcher, Byron Johnson, Richard Hayes III, and others. If Hannon, who already owns the career passing yards and total yardage records at Furman, tosses 3 TDs today, he will join Ingle Martin and Jordan Sorrells at the top of that career list. Suttles last week became the all-time receiving yardage leader for the Paladins. It's a shame to see these guys go. Their tenure at Furman didn't turn out to be all that we hoped it would be in 2013, but they have all served the Paladins proud.
-It's been an odd season for me personally. After moving to Nashville, I only got to see one game in person, which is the fewest number of games in season I've attended in my life. It's strange to not have those four or five trips to Paladin Stadium be part of my autumn. But life moves on. Next year, I'll make my way down for one game at Furman and will definitely be in attendance when the Paladins visit Chattanooga. Just because I'm in Tennessee, it doesn't mean my Furman fandom will flag. They are and always will be my team.
Anything else? Go Paladins! And see you next year.